Philadelphia Flyers' Harry Zolnierczyk (29) tries to get a shot past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30), of Sweden, and Stu Bickel (41) in the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game, Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, in Philadelphia.

New York, October 6, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the team has claimed defenseman Jeff Woywitka off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.  In addition, defenseman Stu Bickel has been assigned to Connecticut of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Woywitka, 28, is a former first round draft pick, selected 27th overall by Philadelphia in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.  Last season, he registered two goals and nine assists for 11 points, along with 24 penalty minutes in 63 games with the Dallas Stars.  Woywitka tallied two multi-point performances, the first two of his career, on March 9 vs. Calgary (two assists) and April 3 at Anaheim (one goal, one assist).  He also recorded three assists in a five-game span from November 24 at Ottawa to December 2 vs. Washington.

The 6-3, 227-pounder has skated in 251 career regular season games over six seasons with the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars, registering eight goals and 41 assists for 49 points, along with 141 penalty minutes.  Woywitka established career-highs in games played (65), goals (three), assists (15), points (18), game-winning goals (one), penalty minutes (57), shots on goal (71) and plus/minus rating (plus-eight) during the 2008-09 season as a member of the Blues.  The Vermilion, Alberta native made his NHL debut on October 6, 2005 vs. Detroit, and registered his first career NHL point with an assist on March 23, 2006 vs. Calgary.

The Rangers will begin their 2011-12 regular season schedule tomorrow, October 7 vs. the Los Angeles Kings at Stockholm, Sweden (1:00 p.m. ET), as part of the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere.

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Photo credit: AP Photo